Trail volunteers forge new path in Summit County
Danielle Zatkoff has lived in Summit County for less than a week and she’s already giving back to the community.
The former Michigan resident said she loves to hike. The surplus of breathtaking views and bountiful trail opportunities are among the reasons she wanted to live in Colorado.
“My husband and I just moved here on Sunday and we wanted to get involved,” Zatkoff said.
“We thought a great start would be to try and improve the trails.”
She was one of a army of volunteers who set out to help the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District during a National Trails Day event on June 8.
The volunteers set out to re-route the trail along the banks of the Frisco peninsula Saturday morning. They were able to complete the project before noon.
“The whole day just flowed,” said Kate Zander, FDRD’s trail project manager.
“It seemed like by the time we got out there and got going it was time to come back,” she said.
Bruce Buehner, who lives north of Silverthorne, thought he’d try his hand at trail maintenance for the first time at Saturday’s event.
“I use the trails all the time and I wanted to give back and help maintain them a bit.” he said. “Many hands make light work.”
Buehner said he was impressed by the ablity of the volunteers to complete the project in such a short time.
“It’s neat to see what was just a few flags and a scratch line become a path. By the time we were done we had the old path dug up and covered over,” he said. “It makes me want to go grab my mountain bike and be one of the first to ride it.”
Carol Faust and her family came out for the third consecutive year to support the National Trails Day project. The 76-year-old said she’d keep coming to the yearly event as long she could.
“We use the trails and we want to help take care of them,” Faust said. “At my age it’s hard work, but it is a lot of fun, and it’s rewarding.”
The large volunteer turnout made a good impression on new Summit County resident Zatkoff.
“It was amazing to see how many people came together to help out such a great cause. The community effort is completely incredible and something I’m happy to be a part of,” she said.
FDRD’s project manager Zander said she was pleased with the amount of volunteers who showed up to the event, with the variety of ages and backgrounds they represented and with skills they offered.
“We had folks from Denver coming up with their families, as well as folks from out of town visiting us for the weekend who saw it in the paper and thought, well why not see what trail work is all about — as well as the longtime locals who know what they are doing on the trails,” Zander said.
Zander said she hopes the success of the major trails event will lead people to continue to volunteer for projects held throughout the season.
“This project is pretty big, where others are a little bit more intimate and focused,” she said. “So I think people will start to plug into their niches at different projects that are available all summer.“
A full list of summer volunteer opportunities is available at http://www.fdrd.org.
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